A Guide for Single Moms Buying Their First Condo
by on April 24, 2015 | Categories: Condo Advice and Tips
Finding the right condo to live in is no mean task for single moms. After all, you’re choosing a place not just for you, but for your wonderful little ones as well. That means you need to consider not just your budget, but certain must-haves for your first home as a single mom. Parents raising kids in condos also have their own concerns.
Within this decade alone, home buying for single moms has become a real concern. In 2011 alone, there were 13.9 million solo parents in the Philippines, which comprises about 14-15% of the total population. The Philippine government has also ensured benefits and privileges for single parents.
It is undeniable, however, that single moms comprise the first thought whenever someone mentions being a solo parent. Nevertheless, this shift in family roles has only proven that there are a good number of single moms who do their best to provide for the needs of their children. In Philippine culture, this means having a house of her own—particularly one handled by a trustworthy establishment that can cater specifically to the needs of single mothers, their children, and other family members.
With all the emotional responsibility that comes with being a single, it would seem that one day in the year isn’t enough to celebrate her dedication and triumphs. However, one thing can lift her burden: the certainty that home buying for single mothers can be a breeze.
More than ever, a condo in the Philippines is suitable for a single mom looking for her first condo. Nothing can compare to a place that allows her to stretch her imagination on how to spend quality time with her children while giving her access to places she needs to go. But how does she go about looking for such a home? To find this perfect place that soothes her worries, here’s a checklist for a single mom’s first home that answers to the essential survival tips for single mothers:
A Stone’s Throw Away
Is your prospective home close to your workplace?
A unique concern for single parents is to be at their children’s side even as they juggle their careers. Making your children feel your constant presence, especially since they are already missing one parent, is essential. As a single mom looking for your first condo, your home should be close to your workplace so that your kids can reach you whenever they need to. It’s also more convenient for you to take your kids out after work if your home is close to your office. Even better,a home that is conveniently near your workplace is good both for you and the environment.
For many single mothers, it’s heartbreaking to leave home, but when you choose a condo that is a few minutes’ walk from your office, separation anxiety becomes a thing of the past.
3 E’s: Explore, Entertain, Educate
Bonding is essential to any parent-children relationship, and perhaps more so for single moms who want to make the best out of their situation. To set your kids laughing, bring them out to nearby entertainment spots.
This task is much easier when you know that the coolest places for kids are accessible from your own home. One benefit of living in a condo is that unlike rural houses in gated villages, fun places like gaming centers, restaurants, and movie theaters are immediately accessible to you.
Even better, your range of activities is more diverse, which also expands the kind of bonding you have with your children. This Saturday, take them out on a learning adventure by visiting a nearby museum; next week, let them appreciate nature by playing in the park close to your home. For Sunday afternoon, enjoy a fun, family movie with them at a theater.
Even when you’re not home, it’s important for your child to feel loved. One way to accomplish this is by making sure that your children have the proper amenities to enjoy at home. This will also encourage them to make friends.
This is especially fitting for single mothers who are worried about their children’s behavior. Instead of becoming frustrated, single moms can channel their children’s energy into something positive and productive. This is made much easier at a place that has amenities for children.
For instance, your kids will undoubtedly love taking a dip in the pool every now and then, or will beg you for extended hours of fun at the condo playground. Instead of losing your cool, use chores as part of their playtime. You can introduce tasks by making it essential to the activities they want to do. For example, who remembered to fold their towels neatly after swimming? Who made sure that all the toys were brought home after an afternoon in the playground?
Moreover, this sense of responsibility has far-reaching benefits for your kids. Dr. Eva Telzer, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Illinois, together with Dr. Andrew J. Fuligni, conducted a study that reveals how children actually feel happier when they make a meaningful contribution to the family.
This way, your kids can enjoy amenities and still maintain a sense of responsibility. You can also ask them for their input on how long they can swim or play, so that your children feel involved in making the rules. Ask questions with them, such as “How long should we do our homework before we go out and play?” or, “How much time do we need to clean up after swimming?”
Awesome Meals in an Awesome Kitchen
Nothing says “home” like a place where you can cook your children’s favorite meals for them. Make sure that your first condo as a single mom has decent kitchen space. This way, you can also have fun baking or cooking sessions with your kids without having to worry about crowding around.
Not only that, having enough space to cook means you can also teach your kids about safety inside a kitchen while they’re helping you make their favorite treats. That’s why it’s essential to find a home that lets you move around your own cozy kitchen.
For single moms, accomplishing a to-do list can be much more stressful. However, running errands can be convenient and fun with a condo that’s near grocery stores and banks so you can take your kids along with you especially when you need to run errands.
After all, it’s inevitable that you can’t always take your kids out with you on a fun day, so make sure that you spend quality time together even when you have to accomplish important tasks. Get your kids to be involved by with a scavenger hunt at the grocery store. Back home, ask them for help in putting newly-bought items in the proper compartments.
This is just another way for your child to feel your constant presence. It also gives them that much needed sense of responsibility that you can start with using item number 3.
As a matter of fact, research has proven that children who have learned a sense of responsibility at a young age do better in school. According to research conducted by Marty Rossmann, associate professor of family education at the University of Minnesota, “the best predictor of young adults’ success in their mid-20’s was that they participated in household tasks when they were three or four.”
A Safe Nest = A Happy Nest
No mother is ever at ease unless she knows for sure that her children are in a safe environment, and single moms are no different. The truth is that you can’t be with your children twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Forget about choosing just any condo for sale; what your family needs is a safe home at all times.
One way to make sure that your kids know what to do in case of an emergency is to teach them how to get in touch with a security guard. Set aside time for teaching your kid how to use the intercom to coordinate with the guard. Let them know that any visitors must first be approved before they are welcomed inside your condo.
This is an added benefit of raising your family in a condo: you can work closely together with the security to make sure that only people you know and approve of can enter your home, especially when you aren’t there to watch over your kids. Consider giving a list of names you approve of to your condo security, and don’t forget to give them pictures for reference. By taking precautionary measures, you’ll never have to worry about leaving your kids at home.
Always Emergency Ready
Fire exits are a must in every condo. No single mother wants to leave her children’s lives up to chance, so it’s best to find a condo that has foreseen possible emergency situations.
In particular, a single mom looking to buy her first condo should be informed that fire stairways need to be “rated,” meaning they need to be enclosed in a construction that won’t melt or allow the fire to penetrate as quickly as a non-rated wall. Regardless of the external design of the building, a good fire stairwell is essential on the checklist.
More importantly, you need to instill in your kids the knowledge of the first things they should do in the event of an emergency, especially how to access and use the fire exit. Spend time with them specifically to give them a tour of the nearest fire escape so that they know how to evacuate.
You may also ask the condominium management about their standard operating procedures in the case of such emergencies and then explain such in a way your kids can understand, so that whether you are with them or not in these situations, they will know what to do.
Watch Out for Those Electrical Cords
Because prevention is still the best cure, there’s no harm in checking that your electrical lines have been installed properly. When it comes to home buying for single mothers, it’s crucial for you to remember that a trustworthy condo establishment will always have such prevention in mind. Single moms can always ask what preventive measures have been taken by the management to decrease the likelihood of electrical hazards.
Once you’ve moved in, make sure that your kids’ inherent playfulness won’t endanger them. Check that your electrical lines aren’t intrusive to prevent electrocution and teach your children not to touch any plugs and to keep such away from liquids.
Teach Them the Importance of Rules
One easy way to do this is by setting rules within expectations. By doing this, your kids won’t feel restricted and will understand your rules as part and parcel of the things they want to enjoy. For instance, if they’re allowed to invite friends over, what’s the noise level they are expected to keep?
It’s also important to use markers so that your children can tell where they are allowed to go. Which parts of the condo building are they allowed to visit only with mommy? In case they forget their condo unit number, what special markers can they use to avoid getting lost? From whom can they ask directions?
The Importance of Space
As time passes, your child may demand more space to move around in. This is no problem for single moms buying their first condo, as they can anticipate this need by creating a comfortable area for their children to study, play games, watch television, and read.
A great way to do this is by giving them their own nook with their books, toys, and artwork for a cozy vibe. This is a great way for your kids to be assured that you have their best interest in mind and that you respect their space.
When it comes to your space, make sure that your condo is manageable considering your busy personal and professional life. Keep in mind that a small but cozy condo gives you more opportunities to relax and bond with your children.
Pocket Friendly and Perfectly Homey
Most importantly, sit down and anticipate the other costs that come with a condo lifestyle. In your case, make sure that you keep an eye out not merely on interest rates, but also on foreseeable costs like school trips, as well as a set, but flexible budget limit for fun activities with your kids outside the condo.
With the right assessment, you can enjoy your new home without extra worries about your budget. What’s more, it gives you the time and space to enjoy your kids without having to sacrifice your job or your own enjoyment
Let’s face it: a first condo to call home this Mothers’ Day is the best gift a single mom can receive.